The man & his bike; Kenneth Nsiiwa 

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 05 July 2017   |   By B. Double
Kenneth and his BMW K1200RS Kenneth and his BMW K1200RS

Kenneth Nsiiwa Nsiiwa runs his own sportswear manufacturing business. He is the quintessential biker. He became interested in motorcycles around 2007 when he began going to Johannesburg, South Africa regularly. At the time, motorcycles were not as visible on our roads as they are today. In 2008, Kenneth purchased his first bike, which was a Big Boy125cc. It was an off-road motorcycle. In 2009, his cousin who stays in Port Elizabeth came home to visit in Botswana. He surprised Kenneth and the rest of the family with his new vehicle – a Kawasaki ZX12. This gave Kenneth even further inspiration to ride. That same year, he purchased his first road bike, which was a Suzuki RF400. He later bought a Honda CBR900RR, otherwise known as a Fireblade. This bike is noteworthy as it was the first generation of Honda’s now legendary Fireblade. He still owns this bike. Currently, Kenneth’s main bike is a BMW K1200RS. It is a sport-tourer. Kenneth says that BMWs motorcycles are “very durable”. He feels that most people are reluctant to buy a BMW motorcycle because it is perceived to be an expensive brand. Ironically, Kenneth says the service costs of a BMW are less than those of other brands. He bought the K1200RS because he wanted something that he could use to travel long distances. He says that the fuel consumption of his bike is relatively low. He also likes the fact that his bike has ABS braking. Kenneth does all types of riding. Although he is not a member of a motorcycle club, he attends most of the local biking events. He does what he calls “intensive riding” on weekends. This entails solo rides where he pushes his riding skills to their limits. His favourite road is the one to Lentsweletau, as it is the most challenging one for a motorcycle. Kenneth also commutes to work daily and runs errands with his K1200RS. Sometimes, Kenneth’s work requires him to travel long distances such as going to Francistown and back to Gaborone in a day. He says that his K1200RS handles such trips with ease. He also has cross border destinations such as Johannesburg.

Some may find it amazing that Kenneth rides so much, and in all weather conditions to boot. He attributes this to his cousin, who told Kenneth when he started riding that in order for him to be a good rider, he should ride almost every day, in all conditions, come rain or shine. He says that he would like his next motorcycle to be a BMW S1000RR. This is a superbike known for its high performance. If Kenneth could have any motorcycle on the planet, regardless of cost, he would take the Kawasaki H2. When asked why he would choose this bike, he laughs and gives a simple answer: “Because of the speed!”  For the uninitiated, the Kawasaki H2 is the most powerful production motorcycle on the market. It is a terrifying speed demon even for most speed freaks. Kenneth is concerned that many drivers on our roads are inconsiderate towards bikers. He would like drivers to appreciate that bikers are also “brothers, husbands, fathers, sons…” They should pause to think about that when their actions on the road are dangerous towards bikers. To his fellow bikers, he says that riding without proper gear “is like riding naked”. He would also like other bikers to appreciate that experience is more important than merely being fearless. He has encountered many inexperienced riders who feel that they can ride beyond their limits merely because they are brave or confident. Kenneth feels that it is very important for all riders, especially sport bike riders, to understand how to negotiate curves. He feels that those who cannot find a good teacher can still go onto the internet for instruction. He believes in defensive riding when there is heavy traffic. Kenneth still feels grateful to the late Norman Bingham, who mentored him and taught him to “ride with passion”. He says that, to this day, there is no rider who has impressed him as much as Norman Bingham.